Author Topic: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim  (Read 17483 times)

Offline SpudKiwi

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Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« on: Thursday 07 May 15 11:05 BST (UK) »
Hello everyone.
I am seeking information on the family of my great-great-grandfather Allen Bell.

In his own words he says he was born in 1840, though one family memoir says 24/12/1841. He had a sister called Catherine, and a brother (name unknown). These 3 emigrated to New Zealand. Allen in 1863 on Nimroud, the other two by unknown ships and unknown dates but also probably during the 1860's. Catherine was in NZ by June 1868 as she was a witness to Allen's wedding. I have no names for his parents or any other siblings (if indeed there were any others), which is the information I am specifically seeking.

Allen was interviewed by a NZ newspaper in 1895 where he states the following about his past.
"Born in 1840 at Crumlin, 11 miles from Belfast, in County Antrim, Ireland. At 15 years of age after a suitable schooling, undertook to help his uncle who owned a farm at his birthplace. In 1862, when 22 years of age, secured a berth on the Nimroud, and landed at Auckland." What happened to him once in NZ is mostly discovered, and the family tree of his 9 children is well established. I am now trying to uncover more of his Irish past.

In the absence of census records for the Camlin parish for 1841 or 1851, I have resorted to the Griffiths Valuation of 1862(?). I have found that a John Bell was the Occupier for plot 7a in Ballygortgarve (really really close to Crumlin), which was named Glenfield. I feel it is no small coincidence that Allen Bell named his first farm in New Zealand, Glenfields. I am guessing this John Bell may be his father or the uncle he mentioned.

By the magic of Google Earth I see that plot 7a is still a farm, though the town of Crumlin is a lot closer than it used to be!

I appreciate that Bell is one of the more common surnames in Ireland, but in my family there is a tendency to reuse names. Allen Bell named his first son Allen also. His other sons were William John, Alfred George, Robert James (also my brothers name as it happens), Leonard Henry, and Walter Charles.  The daughters were Matilda Jane, Margaret Anne, and Alice May. I hope that these childrens names may be clues as to his parents names.

I also know he was not Roman Catholic. Whether he was CofI, or Presbyterian or something else I cannot say, except that for the last 3 generations at least, we've been Anglican.

I hope I have provided enough information the Genealogy Genies to work with.
Thanks in advance, SpudKiwi.

PS The ultimate travesty is that I was in Belfast on holiday 10 years ago, but back then I only knew County Antrim. The Crumlin/Ballygortgarve information only came to light a couple of weeks ago! I was sooo close!




BELL - Crumlin / Glenavy / New Zealand
CORMICAN - Crumlin
WHITE - Crumlin
MATHEWS - Comber NI
TOLERTON - New Zealand

Offline gaffy

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Re: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« Reply #1 on: Friday 08 May 15 05:53 BST (UK) »
The Ulster Historical Foundation website "AncestryIreland" has an 1839 County Antrim baptism record for an Allen Bell with father John, the record content is pay to view, however, be aware that for records of this era, the content may not be much.

Also, the British Newspaper Archive has several items in a newspaper called the Northern Whig which confirm that the lands of the townland of Ballygortgarve were known by the name of Glenfield, near the town of Crumlin. Sale notices confirm that in the late 1830s, it was in the ownership of a Robert Bell, then in the late 1840s, in the ownership of John Bell.  Several of the notices carry a detailed description of the property.

A couple of other John Bell references to confirm the "Glenfield" connection...

As a shareholder of the Dublin & Antrim Junction Railway Company:
http://www.glenavyhistory.com/glenavyRailway.php
 
As one of the "Clergy, Gentry &c." in Crumlin in the 1861 Belfast / Ulster street directory:
http://www.lennonwylie.co.uk/PT_Cpage545.htm

PRONI has a record relating to a "Marriage Settlement of Robert Bell, Glenfield, Co. Antrim, and Elizabeth Molyneaux. Crumlin, Co. Antrim." - you can search here:
http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/ecatalogue.htm

Same website has valuation revision books which you can look at, eg. in the 1864-66 book covering Ballygortgarve, I can see a John Bell occupying lands and someone else occupying land from lessor   "Robert Bell in chancery":
http://www.proni.gov.uk/index/search_the_archives/val12b.htm

Edited to add: Another mention of Robert Bell of Glenfield here, very similar to the other newspaper articles: http://www.glenavyhistory.com/townlands/ballygortgarve.php

Offline SpudKiwi

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Re: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« Reply #2 on: Friday 08 May 15 20:34 BST (UK) »
Thanks Gaffy. I thought I may have to wait a week or few to get any feedback so your response has been a most welcome surprise. Since I posted I have pretty much worked out that the other brother's name is John. He eventually settled in a different part of NZ and called his farm Glenfield as well.

I will certainly look into the baptism record. I was disappointed though to see that the newspaper archive is a subscription service, here in NZ that is free. Maybe some kind member who already has a sub could look up the Northern Whig for me?

Your suggestion though caused me to search for Northern Whig which led me to "Eddies Extracts" and an excerpt from the Banner of Ulster (1843) in which a Robert Bell is in court for forgery, has a brother called John of Glenfield, and was sent to prison for 2 years. There is mention of another brother , Henry, who is insolvent.  However, how can Robert be sentenced to prison in March 1843, and be awarded "in Chancery" in June, a mere 3 months later?

You also mention a PRONI record of a Marriage Settlement of Robert Bell. Is that the same as a divorce?

I am continuing my trawling of the Griffiths Valuations. I think the Bells left Glenfield at some point and ended up at Aghnadarragh, but that's a thread I'm still trying to unravel.

Once again, thankyou.
BELL - Crumlin / Glenavy / New Zealand
CORMICAN - Crumlin
WHITE - Crumlin
MATHEWS - Comber NI
TOLERTON - New Zealand


Offline SpudKiwi

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Re: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« Reply #3 on: Monday 11 May 15 02:46 BST (UK) »
So I forked over GBP4 for the baptism record. It gives both parents names, but the baptism is registered in Ballinderry. I suspect that is too far south.

By the way, I now believe the other brother that emigrated to NZ was named John. 99% sure. 
BELL - Crumlin / Glenavy / New Zealand
CORMICAN - Crumlin
WHITE - Crumlin
MATHEWS - Comber NI
TOLERTON - New Zealand

Offline rathmore

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Offline SpudKiwi

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Re: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« Reply #5 on: Monday 11 May 15 11:29 BST (UK) »
Allan Bell on Nimroud

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ourstuff/Nimroud1863.htm
Thanks rathmore, but I already had that link, or at least one that was identical.
BELL - Crumlin / Glenavy / New Zealand
CORMICAN - Crumlin
WHITE - Crumlin
MATHEWS - Comber NI
TOLERTON - New Zealand

Offline TheWhuttle

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Re: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« Reply #6 on: Monday 11 May 15 21:44 BST (UK) »
Hi SpudKiwi,

An Allen BELL had a presence in Aghnadarragh townland in 1840:

MARRIAGES
On the 12th inst.,
in Glenavy Church,
by the Rev. D. Bell,
Mr. Robert Davis Kirk, of Belfast,
to Anne, second daughter of Mr. Allen Bell, of Aghnadaragh.
The Belfast News-Letter, Friday, January 24, 1840; Issue 10700.

----
http://lisburn.com/books/glenavy/glenavy-1a.html
Glenavy about 1890: Big Houses of the Area:
Allen BELL, Springfield;
J. BELL, Bell Grove.

----
DUBLIN LAW REPORTS .
Allen BELL & others, successful application to the Court to in get access to funds granted to Ellen BELL, mother, deceased, granted by the Testator.
The Belfast News-Letter, Thursday, December 8, 1898; Issue 26004.

Capt. Jock

WHITTLEY - Donegore, Ballycraigy, Newtownards, Guernsey, PALI
WHITTLE - Dublin, Glenavy, Muckamore, Belfast; Jamaica; Norfolk (Virginia), Baltimore (Maryland), New York
CHAINE - Ballymena, Muckamore, Larne
EWART, DEWART - Portglenone, Ballyclare
McAFEE, WALKER - Ballyrashane

"You can't give kindness away enough, it keeps coming back to you."
Mark Twain (aka Samuel CLEMENTS) [Family origins from Ballynure, Co. Antrim.]

Offline TheWhuttle

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Re: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« Reply #7 on: Monday 11 May 15 21:55 BST (UK) »
"You also mention a PRONI record of a Marriage Settlement of Robert Bell. Is that the same as a divorce?"

Nope.  A marriage settlement was a pre-nuptual agreement drawn up by the two families (both usually possessing property of some value) to agree what (dowry, land, equipment, furnishings, titles, etc.) would brought to the marriage (and freed up if things went wrong later, or one of the  partners died.).
[Before the 20thC, a woman's possessions would become the exclusive property of her husband by default on marriage, unless she had the power/presence/money to determine otherwise beforehand.]

Widows were much sought after by young men of fortune!
[Translate "of fortune" as "looking for a quick fortune".]

Such agreement were usually only associated with high-powered landed families.
Or those with pretensions to follow in their footsteps!

The overall owners of SW Antrim, were the SEYMOUR-CONWAYS.
Raised to the Peerage during the pre-1800 crisis as Lords Hertford.
A marriage settlement in their family, mentioning many of the townlands of SW Antrim, can be viewed on a large vellum parchment in the record office at Warwick.
[N.B. No genealogical information (addendum: on their tenants) is present therein.]

Capt. Jock
WHITTLEY - Donegore, Ballycraigy, Newtownards, Guernsey, PALI
WHITTLE - Dublin, Glenavy, Muckamore, Belfast; Jamaica; Norfolk (Virginia), Baltimore (Maryland), New York
CHAINE - Ballymena, Muckamore, Larne
EWART, DEWART - Portglenone, Ballyclare
McAFEE, WALKER - Ballyrashane

"You can't give kindness away enough, it keeps coming back to you."
Mark Twain (aka Samuel CLEMENTS) [Family origins from Ballynure, Co. Antrim.]

Offline TheWhuttle

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Re: Allen Bell, b.1840/41 Crumlin, Co Antrim
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 12 May 15 23:10 BST (UK) »
Robert Bell is in court for forgery, has a brother called John of Glenfield, and was sent to prison for 2 years. There is mention of another brother , Henry, who is insolvent.  However, how can Robert be sentenced to prison in March 1843, and be awarded "in Chancery" in June, a mere 3 months later?

Not sure that you are interpreting "awarded" correctly.
He will have been given a financial judgement against him, albeit with an ameliorated implementation.

Think that "in Chancery" means that the resolution of the judgement in the case is expected to take an extended period of time (e.g. A fine was due, but could not be met immediately from extant resources), and that dependent family members are impacted (so become wards of Court).  They will effectively be held under the care of the Court, while the sentence is being served and the monies levied to pay off the fine.
[Think of it as a just, yet benevolent, stewardship by the Court over a number of years.]


The Judges will have looked first at immediate family ties.
[Not sure what legal powers they might have had to "persuade" such to cough up, if any.
 This is probably why brother Henry declared himself legally insolvent.]

They would have then looked at other options.
The one that they settled upon was sub-letting out the land of the farm to a new tenant for a period of 7 years.  Any monies accrued from that would have been directed back to the Court, who would then have distributed such appropriately to the Landlord (rent), the Plaintiff (compensation), and the deemed needs of the (found guilty) Respondent's family.

Laws were pretty tough and unforgiving in Victorian times.  You could be transported to Oz for stealing a loaf of bread, or a handkerchief, or for "issuing" a bent sixpence (after chewing some of its silver off - a common practice - trader's had to examine their change very very carefully before handing it over).  Many judgements simply went by the book - Statutory Mandatory Sentencing, as directed by Laws handed out by Parliament, with little leeway left to the Judges.
[Human Rights were given scant worth.  In one famous "incident" London cleared most of its ragamuffins (orphaned, pickpocketing waifs) away by locking them up in a "different" prison one Saturday night - a ship moored on the Thames.  They all thought this was a marvellous escapade, 'til it sailed the next morning!]

We had kin on the island of Guernsey in the 1860s, where the laws were even more stringent.  If someone got in to financial difficulty, then the Court could legally come after anyone in the family tree!
[We visit there gingerly, and try not to mention the family name when we pick up the keys to the graveyards from the Constable!  We're not too worried about the outstanding value of the original fines, but are terrified by the potential accrued interest!  It adds a certain "frissant" to the visits ...]

----
The upshot for Robert BELL was that he lost the "worth" of the produce of the Glenfield farm for 7 years, perhaps retreating back with his family to the (original?) family farm in Aghnadarragh.

Such holdings were immediate (Southerly) neighbours to the WHITTLE homestead at Thistleborough in Ballyshannaghill (aka Ballshannochy), Camlin.
[The ancient Irish name for the area is "Ederaowen" - meaning "Between the Rivers" - viz. Glenavy & Crumlin.]

Certainly the BELLs were there a century before.  A deed of Widow McNEICE in the 18thC mentions her two sons-in-law (SLOAN & WHITTLE), as well as a widow BELL who occupied a cottage on her land.  Her son Conway McNEICE was resident (later?) at Pigeontown, which is nearby, along with SLOAN and OAKMAN.  The McNEICE family were "big" CoI players.
[Will dig out the details for you.]

More on the BELL surname next time ...
WHITTLEY - Donegore, Ballycraigy, Newtownards, Guernsey, PALI
WHITTLE - Dublin, Glenavy, Muckamore, Belfast; Jamaica; Norfolk (Virginia), Baltimore (Maryland), New York
CHAINE - Ballymena, Muckamore, Larne
EWART, DEWART - Portglenone, Ballyclare
McAFEE, WALKER - Ballyrashane

"You can't give kindness away enough, it keeps coming back to you."
Mark Twain (aka Samuel CLEMENTS) [Family origins from Ballynure, Co. Antrim.]